Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (143)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: After losing her hand in a tragic accident, Rachel is plagued by vivid nightmares of a hollow tree, and a hand reaching from it, begging her for help. Terrified that she is going mad, Rachel experiences phantom sensations of leaves, trees, and finally a hand that grasps hers and pulls a young woman into Rachel's world. She has no idea of who she is, but Rachel can't help but think of the local legend of Oak Mary, the corpse of a woman found hidden in a hollow tree, and who was never identified. Three myths have grown up around the body; was she a spy, a prostitute or a murdered gypsy? Rachel is desperate to learn the truth, but darker forces are at work. For a rule has been broken, and Mary is in a world where she doesn't belong...

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  This is touted as a new fantasy novel and to be honest, I'm not sure where I first heard about it.  I really love the cover - must be the green.  I'm super anxious to learn more about the woman who comes out of the tree.  


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January 2018 Monthly Wrap Up

So I think this is the last new graphic for a while.  I've pretty much changed them all but hey, I figured it was time with a new year and all.  The Top Ten Tuesday and Can't Wait Wednesday graphics will stay the same because who can mess with the perfection that is Booker T and Cassius?

I started January off pretty strong and ended up reading 11 items.  At least for now, Goodreads hasn't started mocking me yet.  I added a Widget so I can track my challenge progress so I sort of just want to give an overview from now on.  Here's an overview of what was read:

Two Girls Down: Louisa Luna 5/5
The Prey of Gods: Nicky Draden 5/5
Beneath the Sugar Sky: Seanan McGuire 3/5
A Treacherous Curse: Deanna Raybourn 5/5
The Chalk Man: C.J. Tudor 3/5
The October Faction Vol. 4: Steve Niles 3/5
Blood Sisters: Jane Corry 4/5
Ricochet Joe: Dean Koontz:4/5
Into the Black Nowhere: Meg Gardiner 5/5
Chew Major League Vol. 5: John Layman 3/5
Space Dumplins: Craig Thompson 4/5

I'd say my favorite read was A Treacherous Curse and my least favorite has to be The Chalk Man.  I still need to get reviews posted for The Prey of Gods and Into the Black Nowhere but you can see I loved them too. 

What book was your favorite read this month?  Did you read any of these?

TTT - I Can't Believe I Read That!

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

Today we are sharing books we can't believe we read.  Now I put a lot of time and effort into finding new books and researching what is coming out - to me, it's half the fun of reading.  So I'm only going to try to come up with 5.  Also, please don't let any of my choices offend anyone.  We all like to read different things and all books hold a value to someone.  

So I read these rather late.  I mean, they were all out and had been talked to death before I picked one up.  I admit, I was curious, but it was clear to me that this book was Twilight fan-fiction and Anastasia drove me nuts - just like Bella.  Speaking of Bella...

Enough said.

I like weird but I honestly think I should have never picked this up considering I had never listened to the podcast.  

Who knew this book would still be making lists on 2018.  And I thought it was gone for good.  Oh why didn't I DNF this somewhere along the way?

Oh I can believe I picked this up - everyone was reading it.  I just can't believe I finished it.

So I can see this list sort of morphed into books I should have DNF'ed.  Oh well, that works for me so I hope it works for you.  

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Few Graphic Novel Catch-Ups

Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts on a few graphic novels I've read this month.  As both are part of a series, it's hard to share a lot without giving a lot of way.  However, I will say these series are some of my favorites and I will most definitely continue following them.

TITLE: Chew. Vol 5 - Major League
AUTHOR: John Layman & Rob Guillory
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PUBLISHING DATE: April 18, 2012

FROM GOODREADS: Tony Chu - the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from what he eats - has been kidnapped! He was ambushed, knocked out, brought to a remote location, and bound securely. His captor intends to feed Tony from a menu of his choosing, to find out what Tony can see, in order to learn from him. His daughter, Olive, has been kidnapped for the exact same reason. Two kidnappers, two captives, and two very different outcomes. 

MY THOUGHTS: So honestly this wasn't my favorite issue so far. Tony has gotten demoted, through no fault of his own, and is now on traffic duty. He then goes missing and while it amazes me that it takes so long for people to realize he is gone, we do get to see the badass side of his girlfriend. The reader also gets to learn more about Tony's daughter, Olive and I have to admit, she is a rather fascinating character. 

As we are knee-deep in the plot by this volume, it's hard to say much and not give a lot away. I do love seeing where Tony's partner ends up after he too is demoted and I will admit, his new partner Buttercup is one of my faves. I will most definitely continue this series, especially since I think my local library basically ordered all of them in after seeing me request them one by one.

Here is Buttercup 💜💜💜


CHALLENGE: Library Love
TITLE: October Faction Vol. 4 - Deadly Season
AUTHOR: Steve Niles and Damien Worm
PUBLISHING DATE: July 11, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Ghouls in the graveyard! Giant Monsters downtown! The Allan family comes face to face with a whole new threat. This one comes from the past and it won't stop until the Allan's are dead.

MY THOUGHTS: In looking back, my ratings for this series have steadily declined since picking up the first volume and as I have finally hit 3/5, I can say I hope the trend stops. I still think "The October Faction" is a strong addition to the graphic novel world and anyone who likes horror is missing something by not giving it a chance. The coloring and artwork remains awesome, but the story seems to be dragging a tad. I really don't want to give much away which is hard considering I read the whole thing in 3o minutes. There are still werewolves, vampires and other monsters - including the human kind. I will continue to look forward to additional installments and will give at least one more volume a chance before signing off permanently.


CHALLENGE: Library Love

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Very First Sidetracked Sunday!

So we all do it.  We want to collect and read ALL the books and are enticed weekly by all the shiny new releases.  But we're only human and can't possibly read ALL the books. So some get pushed back and when that happens, unfortunately they get no attention and our stacks grow and grow and grow.

So I've implemented a new monthly feature.  Once a month, I will read a book that ISN'T a new release and which isn't getting all the hype (and we all know how that's worked out for me).  This book may come from my physical shelves, from my backlog of Netgalley acquisitions, or even from the library if it's just an older book I've always wanted to pick up.  So then on the last Sunday of the month, I'll share that review with you!  And it will from here on out be known as "Sidetracked Sunday!"

TITLE: Space Dumplins
AUTHOR: Craig Thompson
PUBLISHING DATE: August 25, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: For Violet Marlocke, family is the most important thing in the whole galaxy. So when her father goes missing while on a hazardous job, she can't just sit around and do nothing. To get him back, Violet throws caution to the stars and sets out with a group of misfit friends on a quest to find him. But space is vast and dangerous, and she soon discovers that her dad is in big, BIG trouble. With her father's life on the line, nothing is going to stop Violet from trying to rescue him and keep her family together.

Visionary graphic novel creator Craig Thompson brings all of his wit, warmth, and humor to create a brilliantly drawn story for all ages. Set in a distant yet familiar future, Space Dumplinsweaves themes of family, friendship, and loyalty into a grand space adventure filled with quirky aliens, awesome spaceships, and sharp commentary on our environmentally challenged world.

MY THOUGHTS: I remember hearing about this book when it first came out, but in 2015 I hadn't really tried graphic novels.  Then when I started reading them, I didn't even think to see if my library carried it.  A few weeks ago I saw "Space Dumplins" mentioned on Booktube, looked on my library site, and hit reserve.

"Space Dumplins" is advertised as juvenile fiction, but I think anyone who enjoys graphic novels would enjoy it. The artwork is bright, colorful and quite intricate.  Violet's father is a space scavenger and her mother an aspiring space designer.  One day her father takes a secret mission and suddenly disappears.  About that time, the galaxy is being inundated with space whale diarrhea - giant purple space whales - and they are rather cute.  Violet teams up with a team of misfits to look for her father and in the process, tries to save a captured baby whale.

I loved Violet and her misfit team.  My favorite is Elliot the Chick.  His father, a mad chicken scientist, abandoned him when he was young and although quite bright, he has no social skills.  Below are a few pics of Elliot.  And I forget to mention, every time he gets nervous, he has seizures, and Violet comforts and takes care of him where no one has before.

"Space Dumplins" is a story about friendship, family, adventure and how people are ruining the ecosystem.  It's told in a fun and innovative way and I really enjoyed reading this rather lengthy graphic novel.  If any of these topics interest you, or if you want to meet Elliot for yourself, then grab a copy and enjoy the space ride!


CHALLENGE: Swords and Stars Challenge - read a SFF graphic novel, Library Love

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Weekly Reads/Stacking the Shelves/Sunday Post - You're Getting It All!

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer

So this week you're getting one catch-all post.  Which will be okay, just grab you're favorite drink of choice.  

So the weather has been much more seasonable, which is still winter, but at least it's not Arctic Winter.  The pups have been able to go on more walks. It's also been a fairly uneventful week at home which I'll take over utter chaos any time.  My team didn't make it to the Super Bowl, but the Patriots beat the Jaguars which we kind of wanted.  I had hoped the Vikings would make it but nope, not this year. I've liked them ever since Randy Moss from Marshall played for them (even if he did take plays off from time to time).

We managed to watch a few movies this weekend and I wouldn't recommend either one.  First was "The Snowman."  I had seen all the bad reviews but I thought the plot sounded good so it couldn't be THAT bad.  Well, I was wrong.  The only thing that got me through it was the new drink I made that night - a Harley Quinn.  Next Mr. Barb convinced me to watch "Bullet Head."  It was described as 

"Three career criminals find themselves trapped in a warehouse with the law closing in and an even worse threat waiting inside - a nigh unstoppable killer dog."

The previews made it sound like the dog was like a science experiment or something.  NO.  It was a sad, beautiful abused dog who had been made to dog fight and the warehouse was home to a dog fighting ring, led by Antonio Banderas.  This movies SUCKED.  Several times I left the room.  I don't even know why we continued to watch it.  I just wanted to hold and cuddle the killer dog knowing I'd forgive him when he took my face off.  DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.  Or if you do, you've been warned.  I love Adrian Brody and I want to tweet bad things to him after this movie (in his defense he was just a thief and really loved dogs).

I hope to do some reading this weekend.  It's kind of been a slow week for it.  I'm currently reading "Into the Black Nowhere" which is really good and then want to pick up "Smoke City" and "Wolf Blood."  These all appear to be pretty intense reads so I may need some fluffy puppies afterwards.

Finally, I ran to the library farthest away from me this week   I don't visit it often but I did grab 2 books (imagine that).  I had to pick up "The Last Weekend" and "Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble" for one of my "They Call it Puppy Love" reads.  BTW, don't forget to sign up for the challenge if you are interested.  Here is the link.  I also need to mention my main library has 3 holds for me to pick up so look for more library books next week.

So how was your week and what did you add to your shelves???

Make sure to stop by tomorrow to check out a brand new feature!!!!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Rise Blog Tour

Sierra Cross
(Coven of Fire, #1)
Publication date: June 15th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
I closed the door on magic long ago…the day it made me an orphan.
Ten years ago, the Coven of Fire sacrificed their lives—my mother among them—to hold off an overwhelming demonic force. Now it’s back.
As a poorly-paid bartender, how can any of this be my problem? But Callie, another orphan of that battle, swears I’m the key to reviving the coven. And there’s an incredibly sexy guardian stranded on my couch who’s promising to help me stop the demons and keep the veil between the realms standing.
One problem: I’ve never been able to use magic. Our local bad boy warlock assures me I have the talent, but even if I did, we don’t have enough witches to complete a coven. The only way to survive is to pull together this pack of magicborn misfits, who have more secrets than spells, into a makeshift coven.
Can we—three untrained witches, a sarcastic warlock, and an overly intense guardian—take back the city…before the demongate falls and the forces that killed my mother destroy us too?

MY THOUGHTS:   I'm pretty much a sucker for anything with witches and even though I read this several weeks ago, I'm still quite anxious for the next in the series.  Cross managed to develop the characters into people I really care about in such a short time and for me, I'm very much a character-driven reader.  Add in some snark, and it was almost a guarantee that I would love this book.

Alix has sworn off witchcraft after her parents died 10 years ago.  Yet she must grasp her powers and partner with others in order to keep the demongate from falling.  Although at times I knew where this book was headed, it was still an enjoyable, quick-paced adventure.  The book was somewhat on the shorter side, but since there are 4 more headed our way in this series,  there's still a lot left to look forward to.


Author Bio:
Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Two Bloggers One Book - A Treacherous Curse

This month Stormi and I had a chance to buddy read one of our favorite series.  Seems both of us are in love with the Veronica Speedwell series so it was a natural choice for us. Once you read my thoughts, make sure you hop over to Stormi's @ Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My!  

TITLE: A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3)
AUTHOR: Deanna Raybourn
PUBLISHING DATE: January 16, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: London, 1888. 

As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Words really can't adequately sum up how much I love this series. In fact, Raybourn cannot produce these books quickly enough to keep me happy. Once again Veronica and Stoker find themselves in the middle of a mystery, but this one comes closer to home. 

Mr. and Mrs. Tiverton were on an archaeological dig in Egypt when they discover the sarcophagus of an ancient Egyptian Princess. Shortly afterwards, a mystical Anubis appears and people start to die or go missing. In fact, one of the missing people turns out to be Stoker's old friend/nemesis who is also married to his ex-wife Caroline. Veronica, fearing Stoker will be erroneously connected to the disappearance, vows to helps Stoker figure out what is going on hopefully in time to save what reputation he has left. In doing so, she meets the infamous ex-wife - and she is despicable. 

The mystery is this book was just as strong as the others and I liked the introduction of some new characters. However, there is really nothing remarkable about the Tivertons except Lord Tiverton's daughter - Figgy. Figgy is a joy and in my honest opinion, has to be a teenage Veronica in the making. And she is just as enamored with Stoker. But the best thing about this series remains Veronica and Stoker themselves. There are very few romantic overtones in any of the books but the sexual tension between the two main characters could be cut with a knife. Seriously, I wish they would just get together already. The banter back and forth between them is priceless and Veronica is so headstrong and blunt that I can't help but think in real life we'd be best of friends. She embarrasses Stoker every chance she gets, and it's hilarious. 

This is a must-read for anyone who has already loved the series and if you haven't, you can grab all three and go on a marathon run and find out why so many other people are in love with Veronica and Stoker. 

I also have to mention Nut. Nut is a new dog we are introduced to in this installment and he and Stoker's bulldog, Huxley, are destined to become best friends in the future.

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

When Will I Ever Learn??? - The Chalk Man Review

TITLE: The Chalk Man
AUTHOR: C.J. Tudor
PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing Group
PUBLISHING DATE: January 9, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he's put his past behind him, but then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank--until one of them turns up dead. That's when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

MY THOUGHTS: So I'm sure I'm going to have one of the more unpopular opinions about "The Chalk Man" and maybe because I just expected to love it so darn much. I mean, the whole world is raving about it. I'm classifying it as a book suffering from what I now deem "Overhyped Effect or OE for short" (See also my reviews on Final Girls and Little Heaven). In fact. my rating is teetering closer to 2.5 than 3 but since Goodreads refuses to allow us those opinions, I'll round up.

"The Chalk Man" is told in dual timelines of 1986 and 2016 which is actually one of the aspects about the book I really loved. Eddie is the MC and narrator and he lives in a small town with his group of friends - Nicky (the only female), Metal Mickey, Hoppo and Fat Gav. They are spending their summer as most 12 year olds would attending local fairs and looking for dead bodies in the woods, but quickly their summer becomes consumed the "The Chalk Man." Sound familiar? I couldn't get "IT" out of my head, except these kids are unlikable. All of them. And Eddie was possibly the creepiest of them all because people didn't seem to think he was a creep.

Flash forward to 2016 and the gang all receive a mysterious letter with a chalk man and they start to realize the summer of 1986 was not what they originally thought. Suddenly one of Eddie's friends ends up dead and Eddie starts to a new investigation into the murder of 1986. But will what he finds really surprise him?

I did like a few things about this book. I think it's a fairly strong debut. I mean, it must be, because tons of other people are raving about it. And I found it an easy enough read and didn't mind picking it up. Overall it was entertaining enough. Yet when I can't connect to any of the characters, I tend to find a book less enjoyable and that is probably why I was so disappointed with "The Chalk Man." I mean, come on, give me ONE character to root for.

Oh I forgot, there was one, Murphy, the dog. And SPOILER ALERT/TRIGGER WARNING - Murphy dies. Another strike for "The Chalk Man."

Please don't let my review alter your opinion on picking up this book. Lots of bloggers who I admire and trust have loved it. It just wasn't a book for me and the Murphy situation was the icing on the cake. I will keep an eye open for any future works by Tudor because there is quite an imagination there and I am curious about where she might lead us down the road.

I received a copy from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


CHALLENGES:  Cloak & Dagger 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (142)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

SYNOPSIS: When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive surgery and skin disease in bogeymen -- and hopefully at least one uneventful night at the Opera. 

Unfortunately for Greta, Paris happens to be infested with a coven of vampires -- and not the civilized kind. If she hopes to survive, Greta must navigate the darkest corners of the City of Lights, the maze of ancient catacombs and mine-tunnels underneath the streets, where there is more to find than simply dead men's bones. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I still need to read Strange Practice but enough trusted bloggers have read and reviewed it that I am pretty sure I'll love it.  And like most bookworms, I can't let the fact that I haven't read book #1 keep me from wanting book #2.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

TTT - It's Not You, It's Me

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

This we we are sharing books we fell in love with, but as time has passed, we don't remember a whole lot about.  Anyone who has been an avid reader for any amount of time should not have much trouble with this one.  Sometimes, I'm lucky if I can remember yesterday.  Anyways, here we go.

I adore horror and find John Saul to be a wonderful writer in the why don't I remember more about this book?

I know I loved this book and I think it's a very underrated series.  I still need to read the last 2 in the trilogy but you know what's stopping me (besides the fact that my library has book 3 and 
not book 2)?  I don't remember what happened.

Ever amaze yourself when you're doing these lists?  I loved Buehlman's "The Suicide Motor Club" and have wanted to read more of his stuff.  This is even on my TBR.  But I just discovered I already read it in 2011 and I guess I didn't really love it.  I think a re-read may be in order because I can't imagine not loving this.

A 5/5 read for me.  Wish I remembered more about it because it would make continuing the series much easier.  I know it was about werewolves.

I remember this as a horror book which wasn't really horror - it had A LOT of humor in it. And I loved this one and the second.  Then why has the third been on my nightstand for 5 years?  I don't remember a lot and can't bear to pick it up.  Actually - it may have fallen beneath the bed by now.  Such bad book treatment I know.

Come on - you knew there would be a dog in here somewhere.

Apparently I liked book 2 better than book 1 - but I couldn't tell you why (but apparently not enough to read book 3)

Hmmm...witches maybe?

You know what I remember about "The Hunger?"  David Bowie.  Nope, he wasn't in the book, but he was in the movie - which I really don't remember either.  But I loved both for some reason.

Utterly clueless.

So there you go.  I've realized I need to make a point to read the third book in the Married With Zombies book, start the Cherie Priest series over again, and re-read the Christopher Buehlman book again.  Was that the point of this TTT - I think not!

(BTW, you can click on the covers if you want to learn more about these books)